Breckland Birder

Breckland Birder
Crossbill in Breckland, Norfolk Photo by Paul Newport

Friday, 13 March 2015

Thompson, Norfolk

A lovely walk through woodland carr habitat at Thompson this morning with many common species seen and heard.  Also had my first Chiffchaff of the year this morning.
At the end of the walk I met renowned birder friend Mick Saunt.  We discussed birds seen in the area, also I suspected from his tan that he had been away recently and revealed he had a fantastic trip to South Africa in January.  Mick kindly showed many of his photographs of the animals and birds from that trip, they were very impressive indeed with Elephants, Hyenas, African Wild Dogs, Zebra, Rollers, and Bee-eaters, to name but a few.

2 Water Rails calling
2 Stock Dove (pair)
Wood Pigeons
4 Great Spotted Woodpeckers (drumming males)
2 Green Woodpeckers
5+ Nuthatch territories
6+ Treecreepers singing males
3+ Song Thrushes
40+ Redwings
1 Chiffchaff (probably 2) My first of year
Marsh Tits
Great Tits
4 Goldcrests territories (singing males)

Stock Dove (one of a pair) at Thompson 13/03/15
The highlight of this walk this morning was the hearing, and finding my first Chiffchaff of the year.  I suspect there was in fact 2 singing birds present.  Mick, who I met at the end of the walk, had Chiffchaff at this locality yesterday (12/03/15.
As can be seen from the list, common species were well represented throughout the damp carr woodland habitat.
The Stock Dove pictured left was one of a pair seen.  Stock Doves are beautiful birds, they are a well proportioned species, unlike Wood Pigeon whose head appears too small for its large body.  Stock Doves essentially appear as greyish birds with some black markings, however, closer examination will reveal the dull pink breast and gorgeous iridescent greenish collar which in some lights shows a wonderful purple sheen. In flight, Stock Doves once again appear well proportioned, the essentially, the bird has a grey body, the underwing is also grey but is boldly bordered black.  The call of the Stock Dove is a repeated "OOah OOah OOah".


  1. Hello Paul, a minimum of 3-4 Chiffchaffs singing and chasing around the anglers' area of Thompson Water yesterday afternoon, plus a singing Willow Tit. Fieldfares and Golden Plover still hanging on at the field in Rocklands though...

    1. That is excellent news and thanks Chris for this. I have seen and heard Willow Tit either here or at other locations in the Thompson area, a good record indeed given their scarcity now nationally...well done